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2009-01-05 -Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Waterford Wedgewood Collapses
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Posted by 3dc 2009-01-05 19:32|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [1355 views ]  Top

#1 This is not really surprising. As someone who used to love the beauty in Wedgewood and Waterford, it just doesn't make sense in today's world. When I can go to C&B or to a discount store and get really cute, cool stuff for about one gazillionth of the price, why would I want to fret about things getting broken? Far more fun to pay $20 for a full set of fun stuff and then throw the dishes into the dishwasher and the glasses into the fireplace when the party is over.

Sad, I know. But true.
Posted by Tiny Wheater9210 2009-01-05 19:44||   2009-01-05 19:44|| Front Page Top

#2 And silver sux too now. Who wants to polish?
Posted by Tiny Wheater9210 2009-01-05 19:45||   2009-01-05 19:45|| Front Page Top

#3 Greetings. Tiny W. Welcome to Rantburg.
I expect a visit from my esteemed Blog-Friend TW at any moment.
Posted by .5MT 2009-01-05 19:51||]">[]  2009-01-05 19:51|| Front Page Top

#4 Much of the problem lies with the American Midwestern buffet meal that is the standard American way of eating. Load your plate up and eat as fast as possible is appropriate for a fast-paced industrial society.

Ironically, in its pursuit of luxury and relaxation, Americans still haven't discovered other ways of eating a meal, where efficiency is less important than aesthetic and gastronomical enjoyment.

If you're going to be taking your time and savoring a multi-course meal, the table service becomes much more important.
Posted by Anonymoose 2009-01-05 19:54||   2009-01-05 19:54|| Front Page Top

#5 A rare thing thar.. but we do agree.
Posted by .5MT 2009-01-05 19:58||]">[]  2009-01-05 19:58|| Front Page Top

#6 I will inherit the Waterford, Wedgewood and sliver someday... in the meantime we never even use the Mikasa and polishing silver - no time for that...

Its just too dangerous to wash that stuff.
To be honest I prefer the coffee mugs from the Pharm companies and the cheap plates... I don't care if I break anything...
Posted by 3dc 2009-01-05 20:07||   2009-01-05 20:07|| Front Page Top

#7 It's not about how we eat. If you can't put it in the dishwasher, it isn't worth having.
Posted by Darrell 2009-01-05 20:08||   2009-01-05 20:08|| Front Page Top

#8 And there you have it! I knew my Royal Doulton with the hand-painted Braganza periwinkles was a much better investment.
Posted by Besoeker 2009-01-05 20:10||   2009-01-05 20:10|| Front Page Top

#9 pretty obviously the Chinette with the different sections for your beans, tater salad, and main food item is the ultimate in fine dining. But don't put em in the dishwasher after, I can tell you that. Just lay gently on the floor for the dog to clean up and they're ready to re-use
Posted by Frank G">Frank G  2009-01-05 20:21||   2009-01-05 20:21|| Front Page Top

#10 Royal Doulton was made by Waterford Wedgwood PLC,
Posted by 3dc 2009-01-05 20:23||   2009-01-05 20:23|| Front Page Top

#11 Wedgewood china does fine in a dishwasher, so long as it isn't one of the patterns with silver or gold leaf on it. So does most Waterford. The really thin crystal such as Baccarat doesn't, but Waterford typically does.

The trick with the crystal and with very fine bone china is to not put in pots or dirty casseroles etc. at the same time (since little bits of e.g. hardened browned food can scratch the crystal). Rinse them within an hour or so of clearing the table, slip them into the empty dishwasher and turn it on while people are having dessert & coffee. Use the gentle cycle if your dishwasher has one; otherwise just avoid the really long/hot cycles for pots/pans.

Also, if you have pieces with significantly varying thicknesses (such as crystal vaes or dessert bowls with heavy bases and very thin rims), don't put them in the dishwasher as the heat will cause them to break.

I don't have silver tableware, but Mr. Lotp's departed mother washed her sterling flatware in the dishwasher after holiday meals and then stored it in a drawer with tarnish-resistent cloth covers. It did fine and I don't ever recall needing to polish it for family celebrations.
Posted by lotp 2009-01-05 20:29||   2009-01-05 20:29|| Front Page Top

#12 Anonymoose, this past year for the first time in quite a few years Mr. Lotp and I have revived the habit of hosting occasional dinner parties .... 6-8 other people plus ourselves, sit down dinner, wine etc.

It's such a contrast to our usual busy, overscheduled lives. Makes the effort to plan and offer one worthwhile.
Posted by lotp 2009-01-05 20:37||   2009-01-05 20:37|| Front Page Top

#13 Who actually polished this themselves? It's the sort of thing that you have your kitchen staff do. No kitchen staff? Then why do you need Waterford crystal?

The real villian here is the price of labor in the West is through the roof, which makes whole swathes of the economy untenable. In China, I got my Braun shaver repaired, out-of-warranty, for $4.40, at the authorized repair center. Try that at an authorized repair center in the West - the unreal cost of labor makes getting a replacement more attractive.
Posted by gromky 2009-01-05 20:38||   2009-01-05 20:38|| Front Page Top

#14 Re #11: lotp, I think you mistake me for someone who sorts his laundry and washes the darks in cold water.
Posted by Darrell 2009-01-05 20:42||   2009-01-05 20:42|| Front Page Top

#15 gromky, I don't *need* Waterford crystal. I grew up in a family that sometimes missed a meal or two towards the end of the pay period (if Dad wasn't laid off for the winter or the union wasn't on strike), so believe me I don't *need* it in order to enjoy a meal alone or with friends. I'm grateful for food and shelter and my beloved husband ... the rest is extra.

OTOH, it's beautiful, it keeps for decades if treated well, it's a pleasure to hold in the hand, and it adds that beauty and pleasure to special occasions. What's wrong with that?

Our small collection of it was assembled piece by piece as wedding gifts and then as Christmas gifts from older relatives for the first years of our marriage. It (mostly) survived all those moves from military station to military station when Mr. Lotp was active duty.

And now it graces our table from time to time with new friends or with family we see perhaps once a year. Not a bad thing IMO.
Posted by lotp 2009-01-05 20:43||   2009-01-05 20:43|| Front Page Top

#16 Re #9: Frank G, we just eat out of the pots. The dog licks them so clean that there's no clean-up required.
Posted by Darrell 2009-01-05 20:44||   2009-01-05 20:44|| Front Page Top

#17 The Lotp dogs want to know when they can come to dinner, Darrell. LOL
Posted by lotp 2009-01-05 20:46||   2009-01-05 20:46|| Front Page Top

#18 To all the cat people who just puked: I'm joking. We actually use plates. The dog shines them too.
Posted by Darrell 2009-01-05 20:48||   2009-01-05 20:48|| Front Page Top

#19 Darrell, a real friend is one you can put the plates on the floor for the dog - in front of them. :-D
Posted by Barbara Skolaut">Barbara Skolaut  2009-01-05 20:51||]">[]  2009-01-05 20:51|| Front Page Top

#20 I actually feel guilty for running the dishwasher to clean up the one or two molecules she misses.
Posted by Darrell 2009-01-05 20:54||   2009-01-05 20:54|| Front Page Top

#21 Darned engineers, they're everywhere! I speak from personal experience, having married one, who felt as y'all do about moving up from paper plates to Chinet. Nonetheless, after I'd openly applied serious emotional blackmail to get porcelain to go with our stainless steel silverware and $4 wine glasses -- the kind with the blue stems -- he discovered he really enjoys sometimes setting a formal table for a nice dinner. When I was sickest he even initiated it himself a few times, including once cooking spaghetti and meatballs almost completely from scratch to eat upon them. We use the good dishes for holiday dinners, dinner parties, birthday breakfasts, and when it's my turn to host the writing club lunch.

We've got one of the patterns with a gold rim. I knew it couldn't go in the dishwasher like my mother's plain, white Rosenthal, but of the patterns I liked, that was the one Mr. Wife chose. (It was really serious emotional blackmail; I'd let the issue ride the first dozen years of our marriage.) On the other hand, so to speak, I think it important that children learn how to hand-wash dishes so that they can acquit themselves homourably when invited to their in-laws for Thanksgiving dinners. ;-) At other times it gives Mr. Wife and me a quiet moment to discuss the evening after guests have left, one of the true joys of marriage.

As for silver flatware, we've always put in in the dishwasher -- I learnt that from my mother, who had plate for everyday and sterling for special. The dishwasher detergent removes the patina, but if I cared about that I'd live surrounded by antiques and little camel's hair paintbrushes.

I do like my good dishes, as much as I like my simple, everyday Corelle from Kmart. While I'd love to have good crystal, I tend to break such things, and would much rather break $4 glasses than $100 ones. I am very slowly acquiring my sterling pattern (I'm up to a sugar spoon and a lemon fork, but I know where to get the remaining sixteen place settings). There are times to eat off paper plates in front of the television, and times to eat off china in the dining room, and a wise person enjoys both experiences, knowing that one honours one's friends both by including them in family intimacy, and also by sharing one's very best, whatever that might be. And if something breaks, well all life ends in death, even dishes and wine glasses.

Of course it was a good investment, Besoeker. Everything beautiful is, so long as one can afford it.

There, .5MT. Is that what you hoped for, dear?
Posted by trailing wife ">trailing wife  2009-01-05 21:37||   2009-01-05 21:37|| Front Page Top

#22 Keeping Up Appearances TW, just Keeping up Appearances.
Posted by Besoeker 2009-01-05 21:42||   2009-01-05 21:42|| Front Page Top

#23 I used to watch that sometimes when we lived in Europe, Besoeker. She was rather a monster.
Posted by trailing wife ">trailing wife  2009-01-05 21:44||   2009-01-05 21:44|| Front Page Top

#24 til you get sterling sporks, you ain't living the Miller Hi-Life, TW
Posted by Frank G">Frank G  2009-01-05 22:17||   2009-01-05 22:17|| Front Page Top

#25 lol! Agree with so much of what is said here. My mom was one to pull it out and use it whenever she could as she felt it was no good in the cupboards collecting dust.

Thanks for the tip about varying thicknesses of glass or crystal. Wish I had known that sooner! Just had a favorite cut crystal bowl break almost clean in half about a month ago.

And here is another good tip - if you put the china and silverware (or good stainless) in the dishwasher - don't use dishwasher soap. It has little grains in it (like sand) that are what pit the dishes and the silverware. It is the pitting that causes the damage. If you use the dishwasher - soak the silverware in soapy bowl to soften and have the dog lick all the little pieces of food off the plates. (As mentioned only let the very best friends see that part:-)

Even though I've since opted for the easy road, I'm sorry to see Waterford/Wedgewood go out of business. We visited the factory many years ago and my mom bought some beautiful water and wine glasses to take home. I can still remember the candle light reflecting pretty colors off them making the warmth of the events even more special.
Posted by Tiny Wheater9210 2009-01-05 22:29||   2009-01-05 22:29|| Front Page Top

#26 Sorry to see it happen... Mom collected Waterford crystal. Excellent, heavy cut-glass stuff that you knew was quality as soon as you lifted it in your hand...
Posted by Sgt. Mom">Sgt. Mom  2009-01-05 22:39||]">[]  2009-01-05 22:39|| Front Page Top

#27 It used to be that fine dining meant bringing out the china, crystal and silverware for an elaborate home-cooked meal. These days fine dining means going to a fancy restaurant. The days of paying up for expensive dining accessories were numbered, once dining out for special occasions became a mass phenomenon. If these guys weren't assembling their products in the cheapest possible locale, they ought to have their heads examined. Oneida moved its entire plant to China and is still barely scraping by.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2009-01-05 23:49||]">[]  2009-01-05 23:49|| Front Page Top

23:54 bman
23:49 Zhang Fei
23:15 mhw
23:09 Tiny Wheater9210
22:59 Zhang Fei
22:52 Zhang Fei
22:49 Barbara Skolaut
22:44 tipper
22:39 Sgt. Mom
22:38 KBK
22:29 Tiny Wheater9210
22:27 bigjim-ky
22:27 trailing wife
22:21 Frank G
22:19 Frank G
22:17 Frank G
22:16 g(r)omgoru
22:16 gromky
22:04 Barbara Skolaut
22:00 Barbara Skolaut
21:56 trailing wife
21:46 KBK
21:44 trailing wife
21:43 Richard Aubrey

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